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The University of Texas at Dallas

School of Management


Strategic Marketing Decision Making - Draft

Fall 2006

Professors: B.P.S. Murthi & A. Biswas Room :

Telephones: 972-883-6355 972-883-4734 emails:


Strategic marketing planning has received a lot of attention in corporate America

because of the dynamic changes in the business environment. Economic discontinuities,
the increasing threat of foreign competition, and key changes in life styles and the
demographics of American consumers have created opportunities and threats that must be
evaluated in long term marketing plans

The seven lecture components are designed to supplement the MARKSTRAT

simulation exercise by discussing in some greater detail the key concepts of marketing
strategy along with the notion of competitive dynamics. MARKSTRAT provides a very
comprehensive perspective on running a business successfully by applying skills that may
have been learned during various courses at UTD. Some important concepts that assist
managers in strategic decision-making are positioning or perceptual maps, conjoint
analysis, segmentation of markets, understanding the competition…..and more. The
recommended book and the accompanying software will train managers to effectively use
these tools and interpret the outputs without going into too much detail about the
underlying mathematics that drive the simulation models. Emphasis is on the correct
application of the tools for strategic analysis.

Strategic planning is evaluated at both the corporate level (e.g. American Express)
and the strategic business unit level (e.g. the company's travel-related services business
unit). The planning interaction between the company and its business units is described as
well as the evaluation of the company's mix of businesses.

The lecture presentations have been developed to address the strategic challenges
posed by the new economy. These lectures along with guest speaker presentations will help
managers of existing companies to clarify their own thinking about how to develop their
business strategy. It will also shed light on challenges facing newer startup companies and

1. "Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind" - Al Ries and Jack Trout

2. "Markstrat Online - The Strategic Marketing Simulation" (student handbook)

1. "Strategy and the Internet" - M. Porter (R0103D)
2. "The Right Game" - Brandengurger and Nalebuff (95402)

MARKSTRAT results 30%
MARKSTRAT final Presentation 20%
Class participation 10%
MARKSTRAT participation 10%
2 Quizzes 30%

1. MARKSTRAT results and final presentation

1. Performance & results of the firm in the simulation game: Performance will be
assessed in terms of the increase in profitability, the increase in market share, the
success of new product launches, company stock price, etc.
2. Markstrat Final presentation (15 mins per group). Each gp discusses it’s overall
strategy in retrospect– the main ‘take-aways’ & ‘deltas’ will be clearly presented.

2. Class participation & MARKSTRAT participation

Participation in discussions of readings and lectures is essential. Much of the class time
is devoted to these discussions, making it critical that readings be prepared in advance of
Also very critical to the effective learning in this course is the participation of all group
members in the MARKSTRAT Game, both in analysis and decision making.

As a result, class participation will be based on:

- a demonstration of an understanding of the readings
- level of ‘constructive’ participation in the MARKSTRAT group process.

3. Quizzes
The 2 Quizzes are meant to test your understanding of the MARKSTRAT simulation
game as well as all the significant concepts learnt in class.

Schedule of Sessions


1 General Marketing Overview Practice Decisions
xx/xx/06 MARKSTRAT – Introduction Decision 1

Pre-Read: MARKSTRAT manual thoroughly

-This is absolutely essential.
2 MARKSTRAT – Advanced Decision Making Decision 2
xx/xx/06 Portfolio Analysis & Strategic Planning

Pre-Read: MARKSTRAT manual thoroughly

3 Segmentation, Positioning & Perceptual Maps Decision 3

xx/xx/06 Conjoint Analysis

Pre-Read: Handout on Conjoint Analysis

4 Positioning in MARKSTRAT Decision 4

xx/xx/06 “Positioning The Battle For Your Mind” by Ries & Trout
Quiz 1
Pre-Read: “Positioning The Battle For Your Mind” by Al Ries and Jack Trout

5 Advertising Allocation Models Decision 5

xx/xx/07 Sales Allocation Models

6 “The Right Game” Decision 6

xx/xx/07 “Coopetition” Decision 7
Pre-Read: "The Right Game" - Brandengurger and Nalebuff

7 "Strategy and the Internet" - M. Porter

xx/xx/07 MARKSTRAT Industry Results Overview & Summary
MARKSTRAT Final group presentations
Quiz 2
Pre-Read: "Strategy and the Internet" - M. Porter